Actress and restaurateur Satu Silvo
Satu Silvo is a Finnish actress known for her many theatre, television and movie roles. Silvo is also involved in the restaurant business and runs a vegetarian restaurant, Silvoplee, in Hakaniemi, Helsinki. In 2017, Silvo was elected to the City Council of Helsinki from the list of the Green League.
Satu, you’re an actress but you also own a vegetarian restaurant, Silvoplee, in Helsinki. What’s the story of Silvoplee?
I was in an accident in 1998 and had to fight my way back from a wheelchair to being able to walk again. Living food was part of my recovery. The only restaurant in the city that served living food was closed and I panicked. I wanted myself and others to be able to continue eating living food and organic vegetarian food. Since I couldn’t work in the theatre at that time, I decided to set up my own restaurant. Now, after 18 years, the restaurant is finally everything I dreamed of when I first started. I have amazing employees, and we offer diverse and high-quality food.
What kind of food does Silvoplee serve?
Silvoplee offers a vegetarian buffet with 30 dishes that’s easy to fall in love with! We have raw food loaves, warm vegetarian dishes, salads, shoots and sprouts. All our staple ingredients are organic.
The buffet has been planned so as to include lots of vegetarian protein, such as beans, Finnish pulled oats, pulled pea, tempeh and soya. The foods contain good carbohydrates and have all enzymes intact.
There’s cheese in one salad to meet customer wishes, but otherwise we don’t serve anything that contains gluten, dairy products or eggs. Even our sauce bases are made from seeds and nuts.
Next to all foods, there’s a note showing the ingredients used, so you always know what you’re eating. You pay per weight, which means that hardly any food is wasted.
The lunch buffet opens at 11 am, but our café also serves breakfast from 8 to 11 am. For breakfast, there’s e.g. fresh porridge, organic special coffees with a variety of “milks”, as well as super healthy wheat-grass, carrot juice and green juice shots. The products change every day.
Are you a vegetarian yourself?
I’m largely a vegetarian, but I occasionally eat fish or lamb. My guiding principle is to eat what is offered, but if I can choose, I prefer vegetarian or fish dishes.
You’re also a member of Helsinki’s City Council. What is close to your heart in local politics?
Culture – it connects people. I also want to promote a living city where nature is close. Third, young people’s well-being and how we can promote children’s, well-being by interacting with various parties. Politics is a wide field that can’t be solved in a few sentences or among a few people. It’s a worksite that will never be finished, and everyone’s participation is needed so that democracy and wellbeing can be realised in Helsinki. We are, therefore, all responsible. I’ve chosen this path, not so much as a politician but as a citizen who wants to contribute to the wellbeing of all of us.
You’re an actress. What are you currently working on?
A romantic comedy by Derek Benfield, Second Time Around, that’s touring Finland, and Autumn Sonata, a play marking the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, that will premiere in February 2018 at Espoo City Theatre.